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Old 06-24-2007, 06:10 PM   #1
Zombie_Stomp OP
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Reviving my new (used) '83 Honda XL600R

I have just scored the deal of all deals: a 1983 Honda XL600R for $50! I had posted an ad on Craigslist wanting an old XL, for under $800. About a month later, this guy says I can just haul it away for $50. I must be getting back some good karma I deserved.
It is complete except rear turn signals, the front fender sags a little because of a lateral crack near the mounting bolts, the front headlight fairing cracked, the speedometer is beat up, I don't know if it still works, the manual decompression valve panel (I think that's what it is) on the side of the engine is not pt back together, and it has not been run in about 2 years. The tank is clean, but the carbs are probably not. The title is there, the prev. owner gave it to me just signed by the owner before him- he didn't bother 'cause it was just his trail bike.
The course of action I would like to take is to apply for the title, then get it running, and go take it out somewhere to get a feel for it on some dirt, then go through with my endorsement and plate, and possibly MSF course.
I've ridden scooters since I was 15, have hopped them up plently (aftermarket 70cc kits, carbs, pipes, variators and gears) and have *some* idea how to ride, just need to get familiar with the gears, and the size of the bike.
I'm thinking of starting with reassembling that decompression valve, cleaning the carbs and air filter, clean and regap the plug, and seeing how far that gets me. I'm all ears for any input from you guys who have worked on these XL's. So I'm new to the forums, and wanted to introduce myself and my new wheels, so Hello, I'm Joel!
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
DELTATANGO
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Sweet. Almost free is even sweeter.

Add an oil change.

You can find everthing on the Internet.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
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42941.0 miles. Any stats on how much longer well maintained 600cc rfvc engines tend to go on running for? This will help me decide whether to A) raise money and rebuild the top end, b)whole engine, or c)just run it till it needs rebuild.
Or any other suggestions...
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:10 PM   #4
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ere109 is your guy......

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188797

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224984
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Oh yeah, I read all his resto/rebuild projects so far, an I'm hooked! I'll contact him directly then.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:49 PM   #6
Gregster
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Good score - you'll have fun with that bike.
I recently rebuilt my '84 XL600R also.
Lots of detailed pictures in this thread:
http://www.nbdsc.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?t=274
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_Stomp
42941.0 miles. Any stats on how much longer well maintained 600cc rfvc engines tend to go on running for? This will help me decide whether to A) raise money and rebuild the top end, b)whole engine, or c)just run it till it needs rebuild.
Or any other suggestions...
That's about thru a XL600s life for total long ride possibly end up in the middle of noehwere type reliability. So, at the very least, Id rebuild the top end and carbs and install a new cam and cam chain and tensioners. At leas then, you'd know where you stand. I see XR,XL600s go to 60K but that's rare without a top end or at least a new cam chian and tensioners. The cam chain and tensioners and the pulser coil and ignitor on the stator were problems on the XL600R....
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
ere109
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Yeah, I'm still interested in a rack, so keep us posted.
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'13 BMW R1200GSA 90th Anniversary, '03 Honda XR650R, '83 Honda XL600R Supermoto (Project) XR600 rebuild http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188797
XL600 rebuild http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224984
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:18 AM   #9
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There was a guy on the XL600 yahoo groups who was waaay hardcore over the XL600. He got over 100,000 miles on his before calling it quits.
The overall design is very hardy. Given it has a good stator and doesn't run out of oil these things will run nearly forever. They just begin to clatter and smoke worse and worse as time goes by.
Most die from neglect not overuse.
I am going to be loaning my XL600 to a friend who is going to ride it all over America after June 1st. 53mpg should do him ok. Heres hoping it runs just as good when he's done the trip!
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:12 AM   #10
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New Course Of Action Underway...

I got the paperwork for obtaining the title from North Carolina DMV. It says I need to have it in operating condition (street legal I guess, since it's a dual sport) and inspected by a dmv officer, among other things. The other things include a surety bond for one and a half times the value of the vehicle, which will be determined from a chart, so no cheating, but the minimum is $100. There's another fee of $40, too. So once I have saved enough to get the bond, I will begin work on it. (anyone who knows anything about filing one of these, please chime in.)

The new course of action is to get the money to do what it takes to obtain the title, and the money to get a gasket kit, rings, and the cylinder honed. Then hopefully get it running long enough to get it inspected to be in "working order" by the dmv, which also entails rear turn signals, mirrors, and DOT approved tires. Then I will be dissasembling the engine, visually inspecting and testing tolerances of engine parts to the best of my shop-manual-equipped ability, putting on all new gaskets, new piston rings and then getting it running.

Shout out and big thanks to marcwestbmw for the dot approved rear tire! Anyone with a dot approved 80/20 road/dirt 21" front tire with "good enough" tread would be awesome for selling it to me, as I'm on a budget. A tight budget.

P.S: I sealed the auto decompression chamber with black rtv silicone tonight. I have been kicking it over every couple of days to see if it will start, and only a few sputters happen. I took the cover off, and the gasket and mating surfaces had darkened gas on it (that carbon staining from the chamber). I think it'll start tomorrow. I don't expect the silicone to last long since the gasket is metal like a head gasket, but if I get it started, at least I know what the problem was, and am closer to getting it inspected as working as part of the title deal.

Zombie_Stomp screwed with this post 07-07-2007 at 12:39 AM
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:59 AM   #11
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My postulations in a Journal/ Maintenance Log.

I'm keeping a journal, I guess for lack of having the money to actally order parts and get on with it. But writing things in a book instead of coming back over to the computer to type it out a half hour later is a better process and helps me to better think it out.
Attached Images
 

Zombie_Stomp screwed with this post 10-02-2007 at 12:00 PM
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:14 PM   #12
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More Progress

More slow progress made today. I found 411.com, a big help in locating the title holder. I have the title with his name on it, even signed, but let's just say I haven't met the right notary yet. This is the owner before the one I bought it from. They didn't bother signing it over with notary to him because he used it for trails only. So I found his address and phone number using his full name including middle name, and called and left a message. Basically, I offered him $50 just to meet me to sign it over at the notary of his choice to make it worth his while since it would cost me more and take much longer to do this through the state. I don't know much about the indemnity bond, but it looks like I'd have to lay down one and a half times the vehicle value, which comes from a value schedule that the state decides. Seems like a lot of money. Hopefully somewhat soon I'll have one of these more quickly and inexpensively.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:15 AM   #13
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I have 1983 XL600R, but was in excellent condition when I bought it, so have not experienced ANY problems.

I read somewhere about a problem someone experienced with a big bore RFVC honda. Seems like the side of the head melted because apparently the little decompression valve was stuck open somewhat and hot exhaust kept flowing into that decompression chamber. You want to make sure that the little 5th valve does not stay propped open for more reasons than loss of power.

Do search for starting xl600's as there is a certain technique to doing it.

Check out the spark plug cap. There is a small resistor in it. take a flat screwriver and unscrew the brass plug grabber, and the resistor and small spring will fall out. I've replaced it with a short piece of nail. Maybe doing that may help fatten up the spark.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #14
ere109
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Joel,
Kicking these things isn't as hard as people often imagine. They only jump back up and bite them if you let them. The trick is to keep your foot planted firmly on the kickstarter through the entire swing. Many people kick down and then let it whip back up. Don't do that. Kick it down hard, and when you reach the bottom, stop, with your foot resting on the kickstarter. There's a kickback gear or something at the bottom, so the bike CAN'T kick back if you hold the lever at the bottom. If the bike starts. Bring your foot back up, still attached to the lever, and then fold it in. If it doesn't start, wait for the engine to stop moving, then do the same. This should save your ankles and calves and confidence.
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'13 BMW R1200GSA 90th Anniversary, '03 Honda XR650R, '83 Honda XL600R Supermoto (Project) XR600 rebuild http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188797
XL600 rebuild http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224984
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:08 PM   #15
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Thanks for the hints guys. I haven't tried starting it in a while because I've become too broke to buy any stuff like carb bowl gaskets, etc., let alone trying to title it and all that. I've got a small business plan going to change that, let's hope it works. Not to mention a plan to change jobs and move up in the world. If you could elaborate a little on the expansion valve thing, I could use a suggestion on some good key words because I'm not finding anything on it yet. The decomp doesn't seem to stay open, but I'll try anything after a cocktease of a 5 minutes it ran that I got to ride it. Kinda frustrating!
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